Edgar PurdomLOUISA, Ky. -- A Lawrence County jury convicted former Louisa banker Edgar Purdom on five charges of possesssion and distribution of child pornography after deliberating only 35 minutes today.
Charges include four counts of distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor and one count of possession of matter portraying sex performed by a minor.
Purdon, 68, was nabbed in an investigation by Ky. Attorney General Jack Conway's task force on child pornography last year on the charges.
The trial lasted three days with witnesses who showed that Purdom was dealing in child pornography. His defense claimed that Purdom's computer was hacked and he knew nothing of the child porn.
But the jury didn't buy it.
Purdom was a vice president at Louisa Community Bank at the time of his arrest by Lawrence County Sheriff Garret Roberts and task force officials.
The state recommends three years on each charge, for a total of 15 years. They suggest the sentence to be served consecutively. Purdom will be formerly sentenced on December 30.
Louisa, KY -- Day two of the Edgar N. Purdom trial took place Tuesday, November 25, in the Circuit Courtroom of the Lawrence County Judicial Center.
Steve Lycan, of Lycom, Inc. an Internet provider in Louisa testified, as did a forensic specialist, Thomas Bell that worked the case. Others who testified included Purdom's wife, Anne Purdom. Computer repairman Vando Clemente also took the stand.
Then, Edgar N. Purdom Jr., represented in the case by attorney Gordon Dill. took the stand in his own defense regarding the charges against him of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor child (4) counts, and possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor (1) count.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, Tony Skeens questioned Purdom about his computer in which the prosecution says was browsing child pornography sites.
Speaking about the day that Purdom's home was searched, Skeens asked, "Do you remember telling Investigator Reed how long ago you had your computer worked on?"
"I think I told her a couple weeks or 3-5 weeks," Purdom replied.
"Let me refresh your memory," Skeens said. "You said a week or so ago, then you finally came to 3-4 weeks. You also said under oath when you brought the computer back home it worked fine ever since."
"I don't recall saying that," Purdom said.
"You did" said Skeens.
The Prosecution then questioned Purdom about the programming.
Skeens: "When you were asked who installed the Aries program, your answer at that time was 'I am sure I did it.'"Purdom: "Didn't I say the same thing about the Wi-Fi?"
Skeens: "Actually your wife said you set up the Wi-Fi."Purdom: "Ok, if that's what I said, then I said it. I just don't recall. I was in total shock."
The prosecution then questioned Purdom about the IP address from his computer being linked to child pornography sites.
Skeens: "Why was your computer in your bedroom with your internet service accessing the internet in the month of September, browsing kiddie porn sites?"
"All physical evidence shows the computer in your house and accessing the Louisa Community Bank website."
Purdom: "The only time I would access that is if I was at work."
Skeens then showed Purdom a picture of the computer screen showing the Louisa Community Bank access, a BPN connection which he said is a private secured network.
Skeens: "Who installed this network on your computer?"
Purdom: "I'm not sure. Not every program on there was installed by me."
Skeens: "Does the computer repairman have access to the bank website?"
Purdom: "If it was in my old computer hard drive, yes."
Purdom was dismissed, and Louisa Community Bank Human Resource Director, Patty Carter, was called to testify.
Purdom's attorney asked Carter if she was familiar with the bank's external hard drive that Purdom would have access to. Carter said she was, and explained the bank's use of the hard drive. She said it had been there 4 or five years.
"I think it was there when I came in." When asked where in the bank the hard drive was kept, Carter said "in the desk drawer of whoever was using it." The Defense asked, "how many people used it?" "Just about everyone in the bank," Carter replied. The attorney asked for a number and Carter said "around 17 maybe."
The Prosecution then questioned Carter and asked "Could Edgar Purdom take the hard drive home? "Yes" she said.
Carter was then dismissed.
The Defense then called Don Brown as it's next witness. Brown is self employed as a business consultant, working for different law firms and also repairs computers. He stated that he met Edgar Purdom while working for a business client in Louisa.They became acquainted and sometimes played tennis together.
He said that Purdom had called him to work on his (Purdom's) computer. Brown told Purdom he didn't have time right then, but would later. He said on August 1, they made arrangements to play tennis, and Purdom mentioned the Obama virus. Brown said he would take a look at the computer, but Purdom said he already got someone to work on it. Brown said on Sept. 16, he asked Purdom if he got his computer fixed and Purdom said he didn't know the status of it. He wasn't concerned with getting it back at a certain time because he and his wife were going somewhere and would be gone ten days or so.
On cross examination Skeens said to Brown, "You are very knowledgable about computers, wouldn't you say?" Brown said he had degrees in Business Administration and Electrical Engineering.
Skeens: "Do cookies record IP addresses?"
Brown: "I don't know."
Skeens: "If a computer expert said cookies can record an IP address, would you have any basis to disagree?"
Brown: "Not without looking at it."
Skeens: "The Dell computer in Edgar Purdom's bedroom was accessing to that IP address at his house. Based on your knowledge and expertise of computers, how could that occur?"
Brown: "It could be a third party."
Skeens: "Someone could be sitting in his driveway and hack into his computer?"
Skeens: "But that's not what happened. It was that computer in Ed Purdom's house. How can that be?"
Brown: "I really don't have an answer."
Judge John D. Preston concluded the trial for the day. It will resume tomorrow, November 26, at 12:30 pm, and is expected to conclude then.
Preston has excluded the use of cameras in the trial.
Louisa, KY -- The trial for a former Cynthiana, KY man charged with four counts of distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor child and one count of possession of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor, began today, Monday, November 24, in Lawrence County Circuit Court with Hon. Judge John David Preston presiding.
Edgar N. Purdom Jr, 69, of Louisa was the President and CEO of Louisa Community Bank at the time of his arrest in January of this year. The arrest came after an investigation by the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Kentucky Attorney General's Office.
Most of the trial Monday focused on the testimony of Katherine Reed, investigator with the Attorney General's Office.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, Tony Skeens questioned Reed about the day that she, along with the assistance of Lawrence County Law Enforcement, served Purdom with a search warrant.
Skeens asked Reed what items were seized from the home. Reed said, "There were seven items in all. Those included computers, router, e-machines, IPad, I Phone."
"Did you advise Mr. Purdom of his Miranda Rights?" asked Skeens. "At this point I didn't know if he was a suspect, I didn't know for sure who was using the computers," Reed responded, but said later on that she did read him his rights.
Reed explained that someone in that house had used the IP address in question and that it was protected with a password. Skeens asked if there were multiple computers hooked up to the same router and one of those computers was taken out of the home and hooked up to a different router, would it have a different IP address?
Assistant Commonwealth'sAtty. Tony SkeansReed responded "Yes."
Purdom was not home when Reed and Officers arrived at his house, but was met by Mrs. Purdom, who requested that her husband be home when the house was searched. She called her husband, who was working at the Louisa Community Bank. Edgar Purdom came home at which time Reed and the officers served him with the search warrant and explained why they were there and what they were looking for.
An audio tape was then played for the jury of the day that the search warrant was served to Purdom at his home by Reed. On the tape, Reed tells Purdom that they are looking for images of misrepresentation of children.
"Do you want to talk to me about it?" Purdom responds, "That's fine." She asked him if he had any questions and he asks, "What's this whole deal about?" Reed explains that the IP address from a computer in his house is distributing sexual images of minor children.
Purdom said that on his computer, "A picture of Obama with his finger pointing at me came up and it said 'your computer has accessed unauthorized sites' and it would take $300 to resolve the problem. I heard that some other people had experienced the same problem and I didn't think any more if it. It locked up and I assumed it was a virus. That's how the man who worked on it described it."
Reed asked Purdom if anyone else used the computer. He replied "No."
She asked him how long he had owned the computer, and Purdom said, "five or six years." Reed asked, "Is this the computer that was on the dresser in the bedroom?" "Yes" Purdom replied. "Do you own any other computers?" Reed asked. "I have a couple laptops, but I think they're in Cynthiana," Purdom said.
Judge John D. Preston ruled that due to the graphic nature of the evidence in this case, no cameras or cell phones would be permitted. In a hearing Friday, Purdom's attorney asked that evidence not be shown to the jury. Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Tony Skeens said it was necessary that the jury see portions of the evidence to clearly show the nature of the crimes committed. The trial is expected to continue through tomorrow, Tuesday, November 25.
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